You’ve already read dozens of round-ups telling you the best way to cook turkey or the secrets to the creamiest mashed potatoes. You don’t need another one of those from me. (Or probably anyone else but that won’t stop them.) What you need is a post that tells you all about what to do with the leftovers from that tremendous Thanksgiving feast you worked so hard to put together.
Unbutton one more layer, sit back, and digest your Thanksgiving while you debate the best way to use up all of those potatoes. Here’s the only post you really need on Thanksgiving: ways to use up all of those leftovers.
1. Make the classic sandwich.
You know the one I’m talking about. The one where you take the sliced turkey, slather it in cranberry sauce, top it with green beans, and maybe even pour some gravy on top. This year, shake it up a little! Try different flavor combinations that highlight other dishes. One of my all time favorites? Open faced sandwiches that rest on mashed potato pancakes. It is *chef’s kiss*.
2. Make loaded nachos.
Hear me out: Thanksgiving leftovers make the perfect snack to accompany the hours of football you’ll end up watching on Friday. Use this recipe for loaded vegetarian nachos as a base, then pile up a tray with gravy instead of queso and whatever else you have on hand. Cranberry sauce becomes salsa, and life is good.
3. Make stock.
I know, I know. You’ve heard this before. But nothing tastes better than Thanksgiving turkey stock. The spices and brining that you worked so hard to infuse into the meat help make the stock flavorful and reminiscent of your delicious holiday feast. Use leftover gravy as a base and toss in any carrots, potatoes, celery, or onions you have hanging around. Compost the vegetables (and bones if your compost service allows) after you’re done, and you’ve won Thanksgiving.
4. Make ramen.
Using the stock you so cleverly made from that Thanksgiving leftover post you read, make Thanksgiving ramen. Add heaps of soy sauce and miso to turn Thanksgiving into the most delicious ramen you’ve ever had. Get creative with ways to incorporate your other leftovers, like stuffing and sausage meatballs, green beans and sliced sweet potatoes. If you want a lesson in making classic ramen, join our hands-on class on Saturday, January 22 at 11am at Lincoln Square.
5. Make some plates and find some friends.
If you really overshot it and planned for way more people than you had at your table, grab that stack of paper plates, put together a few servings, and go find your friends. A plate of deliciously prepared food is a welcome gift for new parents, friends with loved ones in the hospital, essential workers who had to work the holidays, or folks experiencing homelessness.
Next Tuesday is Giving Tuesday, and you can support our friends at Common Threads by registering for our virtual class that evening at 6pm CST and adding a donation to this great cause. Common Threads is a national nonprofit that provides children and families cooking and nutrition education to encourage healthy habits that contribute to wellness. In our class, you'll make a fantastic meal that fits into a weeknight timeframe:
- Sautéed Pork Chops with Mushrooms, Onions and White Wine-Mustard Reduction
- Sweet Potato and Sage Stuffing